Last week we discussed the importance of recognizing the effects of mental illness. But, what about those who struggle with it daily? Where can they go for help?
Remember that mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses are more prevalent than heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, migraines, osteoporosis and asthma. Unfortunately, misconception and misinformation have left many people with mental illness and substance use disorders afraid to talk about their experiences or to seek help. These may not be people with problems but also people who are at risk.
Please take a look at the below resources for ideas on how to promote positive mental health in your workplace.
Stamp Out Stigma
Stamp Out Stigma is an initiative spearheaded by the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW) to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders. This campaign challenges each of us to transform the dialogue on mental health and addiction from a whisper to a conversation. Visit https://stampoutstigma.com/.
Promote Mental Illness Awareness Week
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is promoting Mental Illness Awareness Week and this year’s theme is being Stigma Free (#IAmStigmafree). The focus is on educating others on mental illness with the goal of reducing the negative stigma that exists in the workplace. Visit National Alliance on Mental Illness (https://www.nami.org)
Promote Awareness of Resources
Distribute brochures and put up posters about your EAP program or stress management programs available through your wellness provider. There is also a free services called the SAMHSA Treatment Locator (https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has provided a great tool to help people find help more readily. It provides those searching with the location of near-by centers designed to help individuals with substance abuse or mental health issues.
Look to how other countries are promoting mental health awareness. For example, see Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month (http://healthyworkplacemonth.ca). Canada dedicates the entire month of October to healthy workplace promotion. They have many valuable resources to help employers get ideas on how to promote workplace wellness initiatives, both for mental and physical health. There is also the Western Australian Association for Mental Health. (http://mhw.waamh.org.au/get-involved/workplace). The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) has their Mental Health Week during the same time that it occurs in America. Their site provides more resources for those looking for a wide variety of information.